From Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
The House of Representatives, minority caucus has said that President Muhammadu Buhari broadcast on the #EndSARS protests that rocked the country did not meet the expectation of most Nigerians.
The caucus, in a statement by the minority leader, Ndudi Elumelu, on Friday, said it is surprised that the presidential broadcast did not make mention of the killings of protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos, which sparked off violent protests across the country.
The opposition lawmakers noted that they had expected President Buhari to show empathy for the victims of the Lekki shooting and other victims of brutality by security agents.
They stated that reassuring words by the President would have gone a long way to calm frayed nerves.
“Indeed, the expectation across the country was for Mr. President to reassure Nigerians, especially the youths by forcefully condemning the killing and brutalization of our young ones, announcing an accelerated independent inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the gruesome acts and setting a clear pathway for the much-needed overhaul of our security system.
“The much desired national healing, peace, unity and stability of our nation anchor on such show of concern and commitment by leaders.
“As lawmakers, our caucus therefore urges President Buhari, as the father of the nation, to take further steps to realign with the expectations of Nigerians and reassure the nation by immediately setting up an independent inquiry into these killings with a view to prosecuting and bringing the perpetrators to book.
“This is in addition to an inquiry into videos and reports that unscrupulous security operatives mobilized thugs to attack peaceful protesters and unleash violence on innocent Nigerians.
“Those behind such shameful act that escalated sectional hostilities and pitched citizens against one another should be brought to book”, the caucus said.
Besides, the lawmakers reiterated calls on President Buhari to rejig the country’s security architecture by replacing his service chiefs, so as to give more impetus to the fight against insecurity in the country.
“Our caucus again commiserates with the families of the victims of this unfortunate development, while suing for calm across the country and urging for a collective action that will engender a united and peaceful Nigeria for the good of all,” the opposition lawmakers said.